C. LAWRENCE EVANS
Legislative Structure: Rules, Precedents, and Jurisdictions
Legislative Studies Quarterly XXIV:605-42

In this essay, I review and critique the scholarly literature about rules and other structural arrangements in Congress. My focus is on empirical research that has been informed by rational choice theory. I emphasize three categories of rules—committee jurisdictions, leadership prerogatives, and floor procedure. An implication is that the forces shaping procedural politics vary depending on the aspect of congressional structure under consideration. Structural features within Congress also reflect different levels of institutionalization; procedures often begin as informal practice, gradually become precedent, and eventually are codified as formal rules. Finally, many important aspects of structural development in Congress exhibit significant path dependencies.


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